"Stealthing": Factors associated with young men's nonconsensual condom removal

Health Psychol. 2019 Nov;38(11):997-1000. doi: 10.1037/hea0000779. Epub 2019 Jul 1.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the rates, predictors, and associated sexual risk indices of young men's nonconsensual condom removal (also known as stealthing).

Methods: Participants were 626 male inconsistent condom users aged 21-30 years recruited from an urban area in the Pacific Northwest. Participants completed survey measures assessing sexual aggression history, sexual aggression-related attitudes, sexually transmitted infection history, unplanned pregnancies, and nonconsensual condom removal experiences.

Results: Almost 10% of the participants (n = 61) reported engaging in nonconsensual condom removal since the age of 14 years, with an average of 3.62 times (SD = 3.87) and range of 1-21 times (maximum possible). After controlling for condom use self-efficacy, men with greater hostility toward women (odds ratio = 1.47) and more severe sexual aggression history (odds ratio = 1.06) had significantly higher odds of engaging in nonconsensual condom removal behavior. χ2 analyses demonstrated that men who had a history of nonconsensual condom removal were significantly more likely to have had a sexually transmitted infection diagnosis (29.5% vs. 15.1%) or have had a partner who experienced an unplanned pregnancy (46.7% vs. 25.8%).

Conclusions: Nonconsensual condom removal, which involves elements of both sexual risk and sexual aggression, confers multiple sexual risks to its recipients, thus meriting increased clinical and research attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult